In the spirit of being completely honest here on the blog, it’s time to tell the truth about our housesit here in the Bega Valley, southern New South Wales, Australia. We told you it was heaven. We’ve been posting pictures regularly on Facebook and Instagram of beautiful scenery and stunning coastlines, amazing wildlife, and lazy days in the winter sunshine… but we’d be lying if we didn’t tell you about the horrible dark secret the locals keep, if we didn’t tell you the whole truth about living in the Bega Valley…
Oh yes it’s not all sunshine and butterflies here in the Bega Valley. Sure the place might be jaw-droppingly gorgeous, there will be plenty of moments that take your breath away. But, what about the Ticks? Tiny little blood suckers that seem to sniff out new blood from a mile out, they know we are here, I swear it! A couple of hours before they left us, the owners of the house we are sitting bought out a tiny plastic tool, a bit like a mini crow-bar, “Oh, you might need this” they said, ever so casually. “You might get a tick whilst you are here, this is the tool to pull it out.” Might get a tick hey? Might?! We’re keeping count, in 6 weeks we’ve pulled 14 of the little parasites off of ourselves! Oscar leads the count, he’s had 8 so far, Simon 2, Lucy 1 and me 3. Thank goodness they are only the little Bush Ticks, not the big paralysis ones! Yup, this is Australia all right. Look at how pretty it is, but don’t stand still, something will try to eat you!
Ticks don’t worry you? Think you can cope with tiny vampires? But wait, there’s worse! We may have been filling the memory card on the camera with thousands of photographs of spectacular wildlife, bragging about how we’re seeing it all; Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wombats, Echidnas, Kookaburras and more. Sure we may even be stopped dead in our tracks, silenced by the wonder of a baby Joey’s first exploration out of it’s mother’s pouch, but did you know, life in the bush means living with the wildlife? Literally, living with wild visitors in the house? Oh yes, I bet it’s a big joke around here, that’s why those of us from Adelaide have never even heard of an Antechinus! The locals keep it a secret I think so that they can wink at each other when we start going loopy trying to catch the little rodents!
Don’t be fooled, they’ll tell you how cute they are, about their tiny hand like feet, strange mating habits, and that they are a marsupial. And, that’s the catch right there you see, call it a marsupial and it suddenly becomes a part of the eco-system. That one word lifts this creature’s status from “house entering, kitchen snacking, creepy scurrying, prevalent shitter” to a whole different level. Marsupials are caught and released again into the wild, (a dozen times so far!) but mere rodents are wiped out, eradicated. They’ve got you on a technicality, but don’t be fooled. This loathsome creature has all the characteristics of a rodent, and they’re all laughing at the South Australian newbies, both the Antechinus and the locals!
So there you have it, life isn’t really so perfect here after all… But let’s face it, it’s pretty bloody close 😉